Germany’s BRAX, Jolo Fashion Group of the Netherlands and Shinsegae International of South Korea have become new brand members of the Hamburg, Germany-headquartered Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) initiative.
The CmiA promotes sustainable cotton cultivation, protecting the environment and improving the working and living conditions of small-scale farmers and their families.
“Only with committed partners at our side can we advocate together for small-scale farmers in Africa, their families, and the responsible production of our raw materials now and in the future,” said Tina Stridde, managing director of the Aid by Trade Foundation and the CmiA initiative. “Our recent growth shows that companies from around the world, whether small brands or global enterprises, can achieve their own sustainability goals through Cotton made in Africa and make them visible to their customers.”
“Cotton made in Africa has impressed us,” said Shinsegae International CEO Lee Seock-koo. “The standard addresses both the social and ecological aspects of sustainable cotton production. This allows us to source our textiles sustainably and to offer our customers what they are increasingly looking for – a sustainable alternative to conventional goods.”
As one of the world’s leading initiatives for sustainably produced cotton in Africa, CmiA gives a voice to the small-scale farmers who form the bedrock of the fashion industry. Working in accordance with the CmiA standard, around one million small-scale farmers from ten countries in sub-Saharan Africa currently account for aprroximately 30% of African cotton production.
According to the most recent study results, CmiA cotton has a significantly smaller ecological footprint than the global average and greenhouse gas emissions 13% below the global average for cotton cultivation. Small-scale farmers benefit from agricultural and business training that enables them to improve their yields and cultivation methods.
Beyond sustainable cotton production, CmiA actively advocates on issues like healthcare, respect for children’s rights and equal rights for men and women. This directly contributes to an improved awareness of social issues in village communities. Factory workers in the ginneries, where cotton seeds are separated from the fibres by machine, also benefit from improved working conditions. Consumers can identify these products through the Cotton made in Africa label. Each purchase represents a direct investment in improving living conditions and protecting the environment.